Intake (Process/Forms)

Eligibility Criteria

In order to gain access to CISS services, a child must be attending licensed child care and have demonstrated at least one of the following:

  • a significant generalized cognitive delay
  • a physical condition which carries substantial risk for prolonged delays in development
  • a significant developmental delay in at least two of the following areas of development:
    • expressive speech/communication
    • receptive language
    • social/emotional
    • self-help
    • fine motor
    • gross motor
  • an identifiable syndrome which is likely to have a significant detrimental effect on development and which carries a risk for later delays

Eligibility for CISS services is dependent upon verification from objective psychological and/or medical findings. The allocation of all CISS services is based on availability of funds and is provided in licensed child care programs.

Referral Process and Forms

1. Complete the forms:

NOTE: If there is more than one individual/agency to contact, you will be asked to fill out an Authorization for Release of Information form for each source as we need to send the form with your original signature on it.

To fill out a form, you can download it on your computer and complete it by using Adobe Reader by clicking on the name of the form. Forms are identified with the **. Once the form has been completed, you can save it or print it and then send it to us via e-mail, mail or fax. Click here to download Adobe Reader for free.

2. Send forms to Intake Coordinator

Ginette Bédard – Intake Coordinator,
Children’s Inclusion Support Services
700 Industrial Ave., Suite 600
Ottawa, Ontario K1G 0Y9
Fax: 613-736-8378

3. Referral Received

Once the referral is received, acknowledgment of it’s receipt will be provided in writing by the Intake and Resource Coordinator. The signed Authorization for Release of Information form is sent to the individual/agency identified and the following information is mailed to the parents/guardians:

  • Letter to acknowledge receipt of the referral
  • CISS Information Sheets
  • ACCESS Inclusion Newsletter Promo
  • Library membership form

The Intake Coordinator will contact you to gather additional information about your child to support future planning when you access a child care program.

4. Determine Eligibility

Upon receipt of the assessment report(s), the Intake Coordinator will proceed to determine the child’s eligibility for services.

Once eligibility is determined, a letter will be sent to confirm the child’s eligibility. The child’s name remains on the referral list and the file is activated when the parents/guardians and/or the child care program informs CISS that a space has been obtained. Depending on the availability of the supports previously identified or the availability of the funding required, the supports will be put in place.

If the child is deemed ineligible, a letter will be sent to the parents/guardians and the child’s file will be closed as of that date.

Questions & Answers Regarding Intake

How do I know if a referral has been received by CISS?

Child Care Program

  • During the interview/intake process with new families the Director/Home Child Care Consultant may be told that the child has special needs.
  • Ask for parental/guardian permission to call the Intake Coordinator to find out if a referral has been received and the status of that referral (e.g. has eligibility for CISS service been established?).


  • A letter will be sent by the CISS Intake Coordinator acknowledging receipt of your referral.

Does CISS need to be called if a parent/guardian says that this service is involved?

Child Care Program

  • Yes. Sometimes when a parent/guardian is connecting with many services terminology can be confusing when sharing information.
  • This statement could simply mean that a referral has been sent to our service and, if not clarified, an assumption might be made that the actual supports CISS provides have already been confirmed.
  • It is always best to ask for parental/guardian permission to call the CISS Intake Coordinator and seek clarification.


  • Giving permission to call CISS helps toward effective planning for your child.

Another agency called about a child attending our child care program. Does this mean that CISS is already involved?

Child Care Program

  • No. CISS may have received the child’s referral but will not know where the child is enrolled unless we are notified.
  • With parental/guardian consent a call can be made to the Intake Coordinator (613-736-1913, ext. 231) to identify that a child is attending and to inquire about the status of the child’s referral (e.g. has it been received by CISS, has eligibility for CISS service been established).


  • Sometimes referrals to CISS are completed with the support of another agency.
  • It can be helpful to keep a record of which agencies are involved in order to remember who to call with any updates regarding your child (e.g. to call the CISS Intake Coordinator when your child will be or is enrolled in a child care program).

Will a parent/guardian who has a child with special needs assume that a space has been offered if invited to visit the child care program?

Child Care Program

  • No, as long as the intent of the visit is clear.
  • Any parent/guardian on the wait list is hoping for a space. Inviting a family in for a visit is simply that – for the family to see the environment, to learn more about your program and to discuss the child’s needs in order to plan for that child’s eventual enrolment.
  • With parental/guardian consent, connect with CISS to begin discussions regarding support needs.


  • It is helpful to visit an child care program of your choice prior to the time a space is required in order to discuss a plan for your child’s eventual enrolment.
  • Informing the Director/Home Child Care Consultant that a referral regarding your child has been sent to CISS will support proactive planning.

What if I am unable to enroll a child with identified special needs? Would this be considered discrimination?

Child Care Program

  • No. Directors/Home Child Care Consultants have the responsibility of ensuring that all children receive the care and guidance needed when attending a child care program.
  • The enrolment of a child with identified special needs may require more coordination and planning when requesting support from CISS.
  • This may mean that some children have to wait longer to access a space. It does not mean that the child is being denied a space because of their identified needs and/or diagnosis.


  • CISS and child care programs partner together to provide consultation, training and, at times, additional staffing to meet the needs of your child within the group environment.
  • This may require more planning time, and is dependent upon the availability of these supports at the time they are requested.

Does CISS keep a list of, or recommend child care programs that include children with special needs?

Child Care Program

  • No. CISS has been partnering with child care programs throughout the City of Ottawa for over 20 years; so many child care programs are including children with special needs.
  • New child care programs are opening and others are expanding their programs, which is information CISS would not be aware of.
    For information on child care or to access the City of Ottawa Child Care Registry and Waitlist, log on to or call 3-1-1.

​If you are wondering how to choose a child care program:

  • Ask about the child care program’s philosophy regarding inclusion.
  • Ask what experience the child care program’s educators/providers have regarding the inclusion of children with special needs.
  • Look at what is posted on the information board or in the classrooms/provider’s home that might visually demonstrate how the learning needs of all children are being accommodated (e.g. visual schedules, professional training certificates).
  • You are the best person to determine what environment is best for your child.